Originally appeared in Multichannel Merchant
Now more than ever, the ways we exchange money for goods and services online are evolving, causing changes — some obvious, some subtle — in how we interact with the world and each other.
This year, we expect ecommerce to become more pervasive and less noticeable, influenced by the acceleration of two large-scale trends: Connectivity will continue to expand, and payment and subscription technologies will become faster and more sophisticated. As a result, commercial transactions will be smaller – even micro – more frequent and more frictionless than ever.
What’s happening is nothing short of a quiet revolution in how we exchange money for goods. With that in mind, here is our digital commerce forecast for 2016. Continue reading
Originally featured in Internet Retailer
Digital commerce sites must consider how to build and maintain customer relationships in an increasingly automated world.
When Amazon recently announced its Dash replenishment service, which uses sensors and buttons on physical products to automatically order products when you start to run out of them, manufacturers and retailers took notice. The service has started with only a few common consumable products, like printer toner, water filters and glucose monitoring strips, but the implications for the future of commerce are vast. Dash is only the most visible manifestation of what we’ve called the “Commerce of Things” — the way connected physical objects are starting to mediate the ways we make purchases.
By now we all know how the Internet of Things creates opportunities for objects to talk with each other: the classic example is a heart monitor sewn into the material of your shirt that alerts your doctor if your heart rate unaccountably spikes. Now, the Commerce of Things uses smart products that know when to re-order themselves or associated consumables, using a payment system pre-approved by you, but relieving you of the obligation to take action to make an individual purchase. This new world of commercial transactions mediated by objects represents a potential sea change for retailers and manufacturers, to explore new revenue opportunities, leverage new distribution systems, and build lasting brand loyalty. Continue reading
Originally appeared on Digital River
New Business Models
The massive potential of the Commerce of Things isn’t lost on those of us who think about business for a living. Michael E. Porter, writing in the Harvard Business Review, observes that the increasing connectivity of objects opens up “new business models for capturing value.” We agree. Right now, subscription services allow us to automate some of the transactions our lives require—but in the future, connected objects will do better. Rather than sending me coffee approximately when I need it, a smart coffee maker will send me a pound of beans exactly when I run out—never too late, and never when I’m out of town. Continue reading
Originally appeared on Digital River
In my last post, I introduced the concept of the Commerce of Things—the way that connected objects will make transactions on our behalf. But why should people allow objects to do business for us, with our permission and on our behalf? We think there are some excellent reasons why we’ll want to do exactly that. Continue reading
Originally appeared in TWICE
Consumers are increasingly foregoing the security of owning things for the affordable flexibility of on-demand access – and according to Goldman Sachs, millennials are leading the way. It seems the “end of ownership” is not far off.
Retailers are responding to consumers’ changing preferences by evolving new kinds of commerce. Although these new business models assume many forms, we can call them “subscriptions” – commercial arrangements that grant consumers access to something they want without having to buy it outright. Continue reading
Originally appeared on Digital River
The Shoes of the Future
Last year I backed a Kickstarter project called runScribe, a little connected device you clip to your running shoes. It tracks extremely fine-grained information about how I run, stores and analyzes the data in the cloud, and visualizes that information to help me run faster and with fewer injuries.
At the vanguard of the “Internet of Things,” the runScribe promises to be an amazing device, and I can’t wait until mine arrives. But as Digital River’s vice president of solution innovation, I see something even more amazing in the future. What if intelligence and connectivity weren’t confined to a little doodad attached to my tennis shoes, but actually built into every pair? What if my shoes could actually replace themselves when they wore out, sending me a new pair in the mail at just the right time? What if, rather than just reporting on my world, my running shoes could actually take action—with my permission and on my behalf?
What is the Commerce of Things? Continue reading
Originally appeared in Business Matters Magazine
According to Morgan Stanley, 75 billion individual objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Our smartphones and fitness trackers are connected. Our toothbrushes are gathering data about our oral hygiene habits. This connected world – this ‘Internet of Things’ – is shaping the way we value products and make future decisions based on facts and data.
While the IoT is certainly interesting and compelling, the real revolution will come about in its next evolution – a concept known as the ‘Commerce of Things’ (CoT) – where connected objects will be able to make commercial transactions by themselves. Continue reading
I recently read an article in Direct Marketing News about the Internet of Things. It discussed how the attention shouldn’t be placed on just devices; but rather it should be placed on data, analytics and insights. Chief marketer at SAS, Jim Davis, suggested that this idea could be referred to as “the Analytics of Things.” He stressed the importance of looking past devices and delving deeper into the data, pulling the analytics, and gathering insights.
This caught my attention, especially since Digital River has been sharing its point of view on the Internet of Things and the role it will play in the future of ecommerce. Jim Davis’ assumption is interesting, yet I can’t help but wonder is it really more about data and analytics than it is about the products consumers are connecting together? Continue reading
Originally featured on Fourth Source
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been one of the hottest trends in the IT industry in recent years. It’s hardly surprising when you consider that the IoTs already touches all of our lives in probably hundreds of ways. From our smartphones to our Jawbones, the increasingly connected world in which we live is changing lives and industries at a staggering rate – with an estimated 75 billion individual objects expected to be connected to the Internet by 2020.
For many companies interested in taking advantage of this growing trend, their main focus has been getting their devices connected to the Internet. If they are to add meaningful value and take the IoT from fad to functional, however, companies need to be focused on fundamentally redesigning their products and processes.
While the IoTs is certainly interesting and compelling, the real revolution in this trend will come about in its next evolution – a concept known as the ‘Commerce of Things,’ (CoT) which is the ability for connected objects to make commercial transactions by themselves. Continue reading
At the MHTA (Minnesota High Tech Association) Spring Conference, The Internet of Things panel explores the next stages of IoT development, and what challenges and considerations come along with expanded connectivity – including security, infrastructure and commerce. From connected thermostats to agricultural applications to running shoes, what questions should we be asking as the devices in our world become increasingly connected?
Registration required to watch the re-broadcast.